Chicago Cubs fans have another avenue to watch games.
Marquee Sports Network on Tuesday announced the launch of a direct-to-consumer streaming product. A monthly subscription costs $19.99.
The DTC option is available only in-market and is subject to Major League Baseball’s blackout restrictions. Current Marquee cable subscribers can access streaming without an additional cost.
Live streams of games and the network’s original programming can be watched on Marquee’s new app, web browsers, mobile/tablet devices or connected TV platforms. Marquee’s app will feature 1080p resolution video and video-on-demand content. It also can support screencasting.
“We’re thrilled to launch our new direct-to-consumer subscription option, providing all in-market Cubs fans with access to Marquee Sports Network, including live Cubs games,” Marquee general manager Mike McCarthy said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to bring Cubs baseball to the passionate Cubs fans across the region.”
The new DTC choice is an encouraging development for many Cubs fans in Iowa — including Des Moines, where the organization’s Triple-A affiliate is located — who have been blacked out from watching Cubs games on MLB.TV. The league’s blackout restrictions limit the reach of teams’ DTC streaming efforts.
“The regional sports network ecosystem is under some pressure as people cut cords with cable,” Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told the Tribune in January. “I know the league is watching it very, very closely. I think the league also understands that some of these blackout policies don’t really serve the purpose they started with a long time ago.
“Ultimately, I hope the league comes up with a system where any fan can watch any game anywhere. But there’s legacy systems we’re going to have to work out.”